Josh Thomson Says ‘F*cking Knuckleheads’ Petr Yan And ‘Chito’ Vera Need to Pick Up The Pace

Josh Thomson believes notoriously slow starters Petr Yan and 'Chito' Vera could find themselves outside of the bantamweight top ten if they don't pick up their pace inside the Octagon

Petr Yan
Courtesy of @UFCNews on Twitter

Petr Yan vs. Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera is the fight to make according to Josh Thomson and ‘Big’ John McCarthy.

Both bantamweights are coming off of losses inside their division. Yan suffered a unanimous decision loss to the newly crowned No. 1 ranked contender Merad Dvalishvili on March 11. Two weeks later, Vera came up short in his high-stakes clash with Cory Sandhagen. As a result, it would appear that the stars have aligned for the two 135-pound standouts to square off inside the Octagon. At least, that’s how Josh Thomson and John McCarthy see it.

During the latest episode of their WEIGHING IN podcast Thomson and McCarthy were asked by a fan if now is the right time for a rematch between Marlon Vera and Sean O’Malley. McCarthy believes that matchup would not make much sense considering the promotion’s matchmaking process. 

“Not based upon the UFC’s style of matchmaking,” McCarthy said. “You’re gonna see Chito Vera going against somebody like Petr Yan or somebody coming off of a loss is normally the way they’re going to do it because they want to get one of the guys back on track with a win and they honestly don’t care which one. But they want one of them to come up with a win so I don’t think you’re gonna see Chito getting a rematch with O’Malley until he has a win.” 

Josh Thomson agreed with John McCarthy’s statement, believing Yan vs. Vera is the fight to make. Thomson was also critical of the two fighters for being notoriously slow starters, a style that could potentially see one of them exit the division’s top ten before long.

“Petr Yan and Chito, that’s a great fight,” Thomson agreed. “That’s probably the fight to make. The two of them coming off their losses. They gotta get one of their top ten fighters a win. Making sure that one of them stays in the rankings. That’s a perfect matchup because Petr’s not going to really wrestle. He may threaten a takedown by catching your kicks to get on top and do some ground and pound like he did with Jose Aldo. I think he’s very come-forward. Boxing centric and he’ll trade blows. He’ll throw blows to trade blows.

“The problem I have with both those guys is they’re very slow starters so it needs to be a five-round fight. Or maybe not. Maybe it needs to be a three-round fight and be like, ‘Hey, you f*cking knuckleheads, you gotta get your a** started. The conversation maybe needs to be, ‘Both of you guys are obviously two of the best in the world in this weight class, but you both start off slow. I need to remind you guys it’s a three-round fight. One of you guys is going to be packing all the way to the tenth ranking. You’re probably not going to be in the top ten anymore after a loss.’ They’re both coming off losses and I think Petr’s coming off three in a row. That’s not easy.”

Petr Yan is currently riding a three-fight losing streak dating back to 2021. To be fair, two of those losses were considered to be fairly controversial split decisions that did not go his way. The first was his UFC 273 bantamweight title rematch with Aljamain Sterling. Six months later at UFC 280, Yan followed that up with another debatable split decision loss to Sean O’Malley. However, there was certainly no debating his loss at the hands of Merab Dvalishvili earlier this month. 

Marlon Vera’s loss to Cory Sandhagen on Saturday night snapped a four-fight win streak that saw the Ecuadorian score wins over Davey Grant, Frankie Edgar, Rob Font, and Dominick Cruz. 

Published on March 29, 2023 at 4:47 pm
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